U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday and pressed for troops from neighboring Eritrea involved in the Tigray conflict to be withdrawn “immediately, in full, and in a verifiable manner,” according to a statement.
The State Department last week said the Washington has seen no evidence of a withdrawal promised by both Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Blinken noted that Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces in the Tigray region are contributing to the growing humanitarian disaster and committing human rights abuses, State Department spokesman Ned Price said in the statement describing the phone call.
“The Secretary also stressed the need for all parties to the conflict to end hostilities immediately,” Price said.
Ethiopia says it is committed to investigating human rights violations and that it is providing humanitarian aid in Tigray.
Fighting erupted in Tigray in November after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) attacked army bases across the region.
The attacks initially overwhelmed the federal military, which later mounted a counter-offensive alongside Eritrean soldiers and forces from the neighboring region of Amhara.
The TPLF, which dominated Ethiopia’s government for nearly three decades until Abiy came to power in 2018, has long been an archenemy of Eritrea.